Men’s Basketball Falls to Yale.
The balmy days that are now upon us were but figments of the imagination floating around the ice-encrusted heads of Harvard students just last weekend. Still, if any more evidence needs to be added to the bulging file marked “What College Kids Will Do for A Free T-Shirt,” Saturday night’s basketball game would close the case without a doubt. Perhaps it was the long weekend, gallantly promising more time for rest, study, and wanton abandonment of common sense. Perhaps it was the Valentine’s Day eve excitement that drew many to a place of warmth and friendly bodies. Or perhaps it was the imminent approach of Presidents’ Day – a day that celebrated the loyalty of a few great men to our nation’s ideals – that spurred students to show some loyalty to their own affiliation for once. Whatever the reason, hordes of Harvard students bravely trekked across the icy Charles, hoods up and backs bent against the stunning wind. Packing the student section of Lavietes Pavilion, the youths sported the latest Harvard Athletic Department t-shirts and stood at the ready to jibe and taunt the visiting Yalies to tears. The frost was held at bay, for a time, by the faith these students held in the game of their athletes. Unfortunately – as is bound to happen every once in a millennium – the Harvard Crimson fell valiantly to the Yale Bulldogs.
As Yale took to the court, the student section readied its sharpest jabs. The strong showing provided by the Crimson starters was cut down towards the end of the first half, with the Yalies continually increasing the difference as the game wore on. Harvard forward Zena Edosomwan ’17 left his mark on the scoreboard with his ninth double-double of the season, as he earned 18 points and 10 rebounds. Guard Patrick Steeves ’16 impressed the fans off the bench with nine points and six rebounds. Other fan favorites included two notable freshmen, Corey Johnson ’19 and Tommy McCarthy ’19, who worked well together to keep the game quick.
Despite the losing score in the second half, the Harvard men did not fail to leave it all on the court. With just over five minutes left in the game, Edosomwan ignited an 8-0 run that lessened the difference to 62-52. Despite the admirable efforts, at just under 2 minutes remaining, the Bulldogs struck again. The last few minutes closed the battle at 67-55.
The Harvard record now stands at 10-14, 2-6 Ivy, while Yale boasts a 17-5, 8-0 Ivy tally. Disheartening as the loss may have been, it fits the mold of the last two regular seasons’ trend between Harvard and Yale, as the visiting team has won all four games. History may repeat itself to Harvard’s favor, as the team travels to Yale next weekend, February 26th, to face down the Bulldogs once more. However, before revenge may take its natural course, Harvard first must take on Columbia and Cornell this weekend.
Even before students left the stands on Saturday, a particularly boisterous crew began to chant “Let’s Play Football!” to remind the Yale kids of their own crushing losses. Though the intention of the jeer may be praised (keeping Yale’s ego in check), the basketball team deserves more than that brutal dismissal by its own fans. But the crowd dissipated and the Pavilion emptied as students made their hurried way home, free t-shirts in hand and various plans for warming up once more on their minds.
Caroline Cronin ’18 (firstname.lastname@example.org) has succumbed to the lure of free merchandise once or twice in the past.